Solar lamp post lights may be the perfect application of solar power technology. These lights are typically used to provide light to a common neighborhood area and don't require any power from the local utility to run. They generate all the power they need from the sunlight that strikes them and can provide great lighting all evening from a single charge.
An All-In-One Solution
These solar lamp post lights are a combination of several components that all work together to provide this wonderful free lighting solution. The main component is the solar panel. This solar panel is typically attached to the light's housing in smaller versions of this solar outdoor lighting and will convert any sunlight that strikes it into electricity. In some of the larger versions of solar lamp post lights this solar panel is actually attached to the pole the light is mounted on and is somewhat larger in size. It needs this additional surface area to be able to generate the amount of power required for these larger lights.
Charging the Battery
The power that these solar panels produce is then either used to charge a battery in a smaller solar power light, or sent back into the electrical grid in the larger versions. The solar panel may simply use the DC power it generates to charge it's own battery, or utilize an onboard inverter to convert it to AC current so it can be sent back up the power lines. If it is used to charge a battery, this becomes the power source for the light during the evening. If it is a larger solar power light, the energy generated during the day is used to completely offset the power the light requires in the evening. By generating this excess power during the day, the power consumed by the solar lamp post light in the evening is essentially free.
Old vs. the New
The bulbs used in these outdoor solar lighting products have also been improved. Older versions of these lights used conventional bulbs that required a lot of power to operate and were not very efficient. As a result these older bulbs could not operate completely on the power generated by the solar panels. They would still require additional power to be able to be used all evening. Now that these bulbs have been improved to be much more efficient, they can easily last an entire evening and are brighter and more durable than ever.
Keeping Your Neighborhood Streets Safe
Initially these solar lamp post lights were used by homeowners to illuminate a driveway or darker area of a yard in the evenings. They provided an inexpensive way to allow these areas to be used in the evening without adding to a monthly electricity bill. In recent years larger commercial versions of these solar power lights are being installed by local power companies for use in lighting streets. Because they are solar powered, they are much less expensive to operate over time than conventional streetlights. The savings can be substantial enough that they can pay for themselves in a few short years based on the electricity they save. Over time these solar lamp post lights will eventually replace most of the standard lights that are currently in use. This will lead to even greater savings for local townships as they are able to provide the lighting they require using nothing more than sunlight to power them.